During a recent conference, the CEO of one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges pointed out weaknesses in the US regulatory framework for the crypto sector. In doing so, he admitted that if the situation does not improve, both the exchange and many blockchain projects will leave US jurisdiction.
The United States is in trouble with cryptocurrencies
Coinbase, a leading cryptocurrency exchange based in the United States, is considering leaving the country if clear regulations are not put in place. For this reason, speaking at Fintech Week in London, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said that “anything is possible, including moving headquarters if necessary.” This was in response to former UK Chancellor George Osbourne, who seems to recognize the serious problems the exchange is facing, in its home space.
Armstrong, who is currently involved in a potential lawsuit with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), says the US has the potential to be a key market for cryptocurrencies, but the current regulatory environment is too uncertain. In his words:
“If we don’t see clear regulation in the U.S. within a few years, we will have to consider investing more elsewhere in the world.”
U.K. offers more opportunities to develop cryptocurrency market
Armstrong also commented on the benefits of a clearer regulatory framework in the UK, where the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the sole authority, oversees both securities and commodities. This is in contrast to the United States, where the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the SEC compete.
Armstrong also noted that both the heads of the CFTC and the SEC often present conflicting positions, underscoring the need for clear regulations. In light of these comments, a clearer regulatory framework in the UK appears to be an attractive option for companies in the industry.
The CEO of Coinbase stressed that balanced regulations are the key to stabilizing the cryptocurrency market and ensuring the safety of investors.
SEC battle against crypto continues
The SEC recently indicted Seattle-based exchange Bittrex and its co-founder William Shihara for operating as an unregistered securities platform and intentionally evading regulation. Previously, Coinbase was notified by Wells of potential securities violations, which usually precedes enforcement.
In February, Kraken had to pay $30 million under a settlement reached with the SEC and stop providing staking services to US customers.